Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s idea of simultaneous state and parliamentary elections, the Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party (JKNPP) today asked the BJP to set a precedent by holding the polls together in Jammu and Kashmir next year. It also asked the BJP-PDP coalition to bring a legislation to reduce the term of the state Assembly to five years from the present six like other Indian states and end the “political anomaly once and for all”. “The saffron party should set a precedent by holding the Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir along with the Lok Sabha elections in 2019 as it was running the governments both at the Centre and in the state,” JKNPP chairman and former minister Harsh Dev Singh said here. His remarks came days after the prime minister made a fresh pitch for holding the polls together.
Modi had said like festivals, elections should be held on fixed dates so that governments can function for five years. Modi was of the view that once the elections are held together, the central and the state governments can devote the next five years to governance which otherwise suffers due to frequent polls. The JKNPP leader said the prime minister had time and again supported the idea of holding simultaneous elections to panchayats, urban local bodies, states and parliament so that parties and workers could use their time for social work and take people-oriented programmes to the grassroots. “For the current government, this was also important because in 2014 election manifesto, the BJP had vociferously trumpeted that if it came to power, it would evolve a method to hold Lok Sabha and Assembly elections simultaneously.
“Besides the J&K Assembly would already be in its fifth year in 2019 having given sufficient time to the incumbent government to prove its credentials,” Singh said.